|I'm spending the evening with my parents and my in-laws,
so this is as Goth as I dared go.
Note the skull-and-crossbones earrings, though. :D
In so doing, she's chosen her side in the Great Divide between Harry Potter fans: Snape loyalty and Dumbledore loyalty. By my guess, Snape fans tend to value passion and brokenness, and may make excuses for the meanness that often results from that combination. Dumbledore fans tend to value fervent dedication to love and rightness and goodness, and may make excuses for the Machiavellianism that often results from that. The Snape/Dumbledore loyalty divide isn't necessarily a hard line, but it frequently is, and it was the source of some huge combox and forum battles immediately following the release of Deathly Hallows.
...even here - so early on - [Dumbledore] has the after-taste of utilitarianism, a tendency to use others like chessmen, to manipulate. There’s a similar subtlety and secrecy about him to Snape’s, but sugar coated, and that much sugar gives me headaches. He’s one of my least favorite characters..I don’t like him or trust his motives.
Art by azmin
|Art by EnigmaticSS
I'm a Dumbledore fan. For better or for worse... and probably for both. I often feel affection for Snape, and I often hurt for him, but his brutality is still hard for me to forgive. But I can forgive Dumbledore everything but one or two BIG SPOILERS, because his utilitarian tendencies arise from his being stuck in a spoilerifically difficult position, and he fills that position—as best as he can—with faithfulness, compassion, and humility.
Christie's Sorcerer's Stone finale post is still in the works. But I can forgive her that, no problem, partly because she's awesome and partly because she devoted her writing time to challenging Harold Bloom more thoroughly and knowledgeably than I was capable of doing:
Now, as far as I have read, Harry Potter is not a challenging, game-changing story. But I have to protest the implication that reading it will not at all enrich mind, spirit, and personality. What is the anthropomorphic castle if not an introduction to the Gothic genre? And the Flamels' longevity coupled with Voldemort's rabid lusting for the Stone (and the blood of innocents) if not a grammary to Paradise Lost? On the contrary, I think Rowling's borrowing of these classic elements is essential to and accountable for, at the very least, some of the interest in Harry Potter, beyond action in the form of zipping brooms and hi-jinks with clever and uncomfortable spells.
|Art by Gustav Dore
If that's not sign of enrichment, I don't know what is.
And now, travelers, we move forward. The red Stone has been destroyed, the evil wizard is off plotting a comeback from his weird inhuman state, and Harry is back with the Dursleys, anxiously awaiting his return to Hogwarts at any cost.
* * *
This Week in Reading Harry
Read: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 1
It's only eleven pages—ten and a half, really—and it's mostly re-introduction to the story and Harry's situation. If we go any further, we'll be introducing important new characters, so we'll hold right here for the week.
Also, you can make Aunt Petunia's pudding for yourself, if you're feeling adventurous. I'm supposed to be getting off sugar, so I can't do it just now. Terribly unfortunate.
|Bloomsbury UK adult edition
Prelude to Chamber of Secrets, Chapter OneChamber of Secrets is my least favorite Harry Potter book. Now, to understand that statement fully, you must realize that every time I get to the end of CoS, I wind up thinking to myself that it's a wonderful, beautiful little story.*
But the tone of the tale is darker than the first, darker throughout. That is—if its scenes are not especially darker than the sight of something creepy drinking unicorn blood at night in a forest, or than a professor with a demoniac face on the back of his head attacking a student in an underground room, it's at least not quite as carefully balanced with light. You'll need your Lumos charm to get through this one. A St. Benedict medal might come in handy, too—let the dragon never be my guide! Though it's not dragons exactly that we're going to be dealing with... And some of the events are more suggestive of a psychopathic murder mystery than of a book meant to be read to little kiddos by a librarian in a pointy hat.
Art by JamusDu
Just weeks ago, he was famous and popular, victor once again over Voldemort, key player in helping Gryffindor win the House cup, surrounded by magic and friends. But on his twelfth birthday:
Wish they could see famous Harry Potter now, he thought savagely as he spread manure on the flower-beds, his back aching, sweat running down his face. (p 10)
|Crappy photoshop job alert!**
Everybody got your wands out? Say it with me now... Lumos.
* The word I usually use is awesome, but I thought it best to vary my lexicon a little, as I'd used it at least once in the post already. I use awesome like a true child of the eighties, or nineties, or whenever the word became popular. I'm not awesome enough to know.
** I took these pictures in our bathroom, without thinking about how appropriate that is to the story. Accidental genius FOR THE WIN.